U.S. consumer spending shot up a surprisingly strong 0.9 percent in December as shoppers, enjoying a respite from inflation, dipped into savings or tapped assets to make purchases, a government report showed on Monday.

The Commerce Department said its price index for consumer spending was flat for the month, with the core rate, which strips out food and energy, up just 0.1 percent. Analysts had expected the core index to rise 0.2 percent. The rise in spending beat forecasts for a 0.7 percent gain.

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